2017 ESA Annual Meeting (August 6 -- 11)

WK 49 - Which of the Following Is True: We Can Write Better Multiple Choice Questions

Tuesday, August 8, 2017: 11:30 AM-1:15 PM
D135, Oregon Convention Center
Emily Rauschert
Suann Yang and Rachel Pigg
Emily Rauschert
Multiple choice testing is a part of many undergraduate programs in biology and ecology. Large lectures typically rely on this assessment method to quickly assess their students, but even in smaller classes, multiple choice testing is often an important part of formative assessment, in the form of clicker questions. Further, many undergraduate biology majors will have to take standardized tests consisting of multiple choice questions, such as the GRE or the MCAT. Multiple choice is meant to be a reliable, objective way to assess student learning. However, constructing multiple choice questions can be challenging if our goal is to test skills beyond basic memorization. It is essential to write multiple choice questions that are in alignment with some of our higher-order cognitive learning objectives. How can we make the best of this testing format to help our students learn?

This workshop focuses on ways to design more effective multiple choice questions that can also test higher-order cognitive processes, such as analytical skills. We invite faculty, postdocs and graduate students to join us as we explore better ways to write multiple choice questions to match our learning goals and to assess student knowledge and skills. We will also demonstrate how to construct multiple choice questions that require ecology students to apply conceptual knowledge to a new situation. Participants will have the opportunity to learn how to use student performance to evaluate the difficulty, reliability, and effectiveness of multiple choice questions, as well as collaborate to develop new multiple choice questions.

Registration Fee: $0

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